Sunday, October 23, 2005

"Beijing Doll"

In the midst of my novelizin', I'm taking a little time to read Beijing Doll, a notorious roman a clef written by a young Beijinger, Chun Sue, when she was 17 (she's 21 now). As a novel, it's pretty incoherent, consisting of fragmentary stories and derailed trains of thought taken from Chun's journal. The notoriety comes from "Doll" having been banned in China for its sexual content, and, I suspect, for the grim portrait it paints of a nihilistic, rock and punk generation unmoored from both traditional and Revolutionary ideals, and so far, not caring too much about building a strong, modern China either - these are not the pressured, success-obsessed young people or nationalistic robots more frequently encountered in Western media.

Though I can't recommend Beijing Doll as a novel, I'm enjoying the book for its different perspective on China's Generation Y, and as a former rocker/club crawler in Southern California, for the glimpse it provides into Beijing's underground rock scene.

Okay, now back to work!

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